January 21st, 2012 Headsman
DANIEL SEARLES HANGED.
THE NEGRO MURDERER OF OLD MR. REWEY
Sketch of a Brutal Crime — The Condemned Man Owns His Guilt and Admits the Justice of His Sentence.
OSWEGOOWEGO, N.Y., January 21. — The first instance of capital punishment in Tioga county occurred here to-day at noon. The extreme penalty of the law was inflicted upon Daniel Searles, an illiterate negro, who in June last murdered Eldridge Rewey, an aged farmer, who lived alone in the neighboring vilage of Newark Valley.
The murder was for the purpose of robbery, and was one of fiendish atrocity. Calling at the farmer’s house in the early evening of June 25, Searles felled him senseless to the floor, and then cut his throat with a razor.
He obtained about $300 by searching the house, and, on preparing to leave, noticed that his victim had revived. Rewey had also drawn a knife from his pocket, as if to defend himself, which the negro wrested from him, and with which he nearly decapitated his helpless victim.
He was arrested next day, tried before Judge Follett at
OswegoOwego, and on December 8 was sentenced to be hung to-day.
Searles has made no attempt to deny his guilt, openly confessing the crime and saying he deserved to die for it. He has preserved a brave exterior throughout, and passed his last night on earth seemingly with less anxiety than did his executioner.
The execution took place in a temporary frame structure in the jail-yard, erected for the purpose. A cordon of military attended. The gallows was the same on which Penwell was executed at Elmira in July, 1877, for wife murder. The ponderous drop weighed three hundred pounds.
The spectators were in attendance at 11:45, some two hundred being present. Prayers were said in the prisoner’s cell at noon and the death warrant read to him.
Part of the Daily Triple: 1880 and Death.
Also on this date
- 1535: Six Protestants for the Affair of the Placards
- 1943: Hemu Kalani, Sindh revolutionary
- 1670: Claude Duval, gentleman highwayman
- 2001: Larry Keith Robison
- 1793: Louis XVI